The extent of the challenge faced by the UK’s small business owners, in recovering from the pandemic, has been revealed by research published by Amaiz, the business banking app, today. During their research (carried out for them by 3Gem) 10% of small businesses reported that they had lost all of their business as a direct result of the lockdown and a third said they believed that the pandemic had been ‘very damaging’. However, most small businesses are optimistic about the future with 59% believing it will take less than 6 months to return to the previous levels of turnover.
Although it is a minority that have lost all their business, the results show that most small businesses are reporting significant losses: over a third (35%) have lost more than 30% and nearly half (48%) of businesses have lost over 20%. This is being compounded by their struggle to get payment from their customers, with nearly one in three (31%) saying they have struggled to get paid during the crisis and a quarter (25%) saying they have found it difficult to pay suppliers.
Matt Goddard, Head of Acquisitions for Amaiz commented: ‘Small business is the lifeblood of the UK economy. FSB figures show that in 2019 SMEs accounted for three fifths of employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector. It is tragic, but not unexpected, to hear that small businesses have suffered so badly during the pandemic.’
While a small majority of businesses (59%) believe that it will take them less than six months to get to previous levels of turnover, a quarter believe it will take at least a year to recover from the impact of the pandemic and just under 5% believe that they will never recover.
The Amaiz banking app was launched in March 2020, just before the pandemic, and helps small businesses by combining banking with bookkeeping. The premium account is available at £9.99 per month. However, there is a free version that charges just 20p per outgoing transaction. The app comes with numerous unique features that make it possible for business owners to manage their bookkeeping quickly and easily between customers. There is also the option to include a contactless card reader for a low set up fee and transaction charge. To set up their account a business owner simply has to download the app then prove their ID and their right to work in the UK. There is no credit check so the process can be done at home very quickly.
Matt concluded: ‘As the Government announces the easing of lockdown, we hope that they will listen to the needs of small business. Of course, lives cannot and should not be put at risk, however as with the reduction of social distancing from two metres to one, small changes can be made that will have a disproportionate impact on whether a small business can operate or has to close for good. It is a critical time for many small businesses. At Amaiz we will do all we can to help. We hope the Government does the same.’
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